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Streamers React to the Deplorable Dubov — Shakh Draw

Just as chess commentators zoomed in on a promising Dubov — Shakh game at the Tata Steel Masters last night (interesting structure, very zigzagged dynamics, time trouble, Dubov at the board), the players shook hands and discussed the outcome of the endgame that never happened.

Daniil Dubov during the post-game interview after the game at Tata Steel

Commentators on chess sites ranging from chess.com to Levitov chess screamed in awe: what apparently happened in the game was as if the arbiter in a soccer game had cancelled the tie breaks and announced the draw instead.

“No! No! No!,” — cried David Hess, who called the game for chess.com.

Chess-news, a provocative Russian-language chess site, rushed to state that ”[as evident from this game] chess is never going to be a sport, if rules stay the same”.

In a post-game interview, visibly relieved Dubov, known for his creative skills and fighting spirit, explained that he was worse during the game and hence very happy with a draw. The spectators however were apparently deprived of the most exciting part of the game.

Event organizers as well as chess players are now facing the existential chess dilemma: what is more important — the final outcome of the tournament (and a need to play it safe) or a gladiator approach, where you attack with a high probability of getting slaughtered by a more cautious but skillful opponent.

You can follow the tournament live on World Chess.

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